Facebook censors video of fight at Orland Park Mall
A fight at the Orland Park Mall in southwest Suburban Chicagoland has become the focus of a debate over censorship by social media giant Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram. The video attracted many comments including some that turned the video into a symbol of racism and others into an opportunity for selfish political gain. But the majority of people who commented expressed concern about the perception of growing violence in Orland Park in Chicago’s suburbs. Facebook removed the videos in blatant act of censorship, a growing trend on the social media giant
By Ray Hanania
A video of a large group of teenagers and young adults fighting on the second level of the Orland Park Mall has been removed from social media by Facebook and its social media assets including Instagram.
The video shows the group of kids fighting and hitting each other for more than 5 minutes and it was captured by several store owners at the mall and distributed on social media.
Some of the viewers made racist comments criticizing the fight as involving African American teenagers, although the clarity of the videos was in question. Many racist comments were removedly social media accounts but many comments addressed the growing concern about increased violence and crime in Orland Park and the Orland Park Mall.
Facebook acts as if it is its own government even though in reality it might better be described as a “utility” much like ComEd and Nicor which provide electricity and gas. Facebook provides a communications platform and harvests your personal information that is resold to the public.
The growing concern about Facebook’s censorship goes beyond crime events. In many cases, Facebook discriminates against Muslims and Arabs who express strong views about Israel.
While racism and racist comments should be censored, especially those that encourage violence, the majority of comments that express concerns about growing crime should be allowed posted without censorship from corporations like Facebook.
There is no oversight of Facebook’s censorship policies and there should be. Government should monitor Facebook and impose rules that protect the rights of users, and adopt legislation that limits what Facebook can do with personal information shared on the social media.
Without some pushback from Congress, Facebook is becoming a tyrannical system of oppression that selectively approves what can be displayed and what cannot be displayed. Although it claims to have a social conscience, the truth is that social conscience is based on hypocrisies and imbalances which treat issues based on politics rather than on right or wrong.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and now columnist on mainstream issues for SuburbanChicagoland.com, the Southwest News Newspaper Group and the Patch online, and on Middle East issues for TheArabDailyNews.com and the Arab News Newspaper at ArabNews.com. Get more information on his writings, podcasts and radio shows broadcast in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 radio and streamed live on the internet at www.Hanania.com.)